The Top 12 Movies of 2012 (According to the Internet)

By  · Published on January 2nd, 2013

Earlier this year, we organized a vote between a bunch of internet film critics (and a handful of filmmakers) to come up with what they would cumulatively exalt as the best movies of all time. It’s not like we had to pull teeth or anything (we left our hammer at home), but compiling lists of the best movies of 2012 was a lot easier. People have just been giving away their opinions over the past few weeks.

While that was a large-scale project, this ones admittedly a bit fluffier. I compiled as many Best Of lists as I could from notable online movie outlets, assigned point values for the movies listed (#10 gets 1 point, #1 gets 10 points) and plugged everything into my TI-82.

It took a while to compute since I was playing this awesome game where you’re a 3-pixel wide race car and you have to avoid slamming into stuff, but the results were…

  1. Zero Dark Thirty
  2. The Master
  3. Amour
  4. Lincoln
  5. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  6. Cabin in the Woods
  7. Django Unchained
  8. Cloud Atlas
  9. Holy Motors
  10. Les Miserables and Moonrise Kingdom (tie)

Zero Dark completely dominated with almost 60 points more than The Master. It also appeared on more lists and in the #1 spot on more lists than any other film.

Just out of the hunt was Looper in a close horse race at the bottom of the pack, but there were also 68 unique film titles listed. So much for consensus when it comes to critics right?

On the other hand, the Rotten Tomatoes aggregate count looked nothing like this list.

Few surprises here, but it seems clear that the internet age is bringing us critics who are just as inclined to reward populist and genre work as they are the heady art of the day. Of course, the main lesson is that there were a ton of amazing movies this year. Here’s to hoping 2013 offers even more.

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Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.